A tasting of Te Mata wines
Te Mata is New Zealand's oldest family-owned estate and one of its most prestigious producers; its wines combine an old world structure with a signature New Zealand freshness.
With a classic approach and old money prices, Te Mata's wines are deft, elegant and sophisticated.
Estate Vineyards Range
Not many wineries can price their entry-level wines in the high teens - these were all precise, elegant and scored a Good; however, I felt they would be a more compelling purchase if priced in the mid-to-low teens.
Sauvignon Blanc 2013 textbook classic zesty NZ Sauvignon.
Chardonnay 2012 clean, precise, fresh.
Gamay Noir 2013 classic varietal raspberry and pinewood, fresh.
Syrah 2012 mulberry, dark fruits and spice; freshness. Clean and pure.
Cape Crest Sauvignon Blanc
Impressive wines impressively priced - mid-twenties pricing gets you one of these more complex and structured barrel-fermented blends of Sauvignon, Semillon and Sauvignon Gris. All scored a Very Good.
2010 a good year; complex aromatic and mineral nose with pungent hints. Ripe tropical fruits, waxiness and salinity. Starting to feel mellow. Long, elegant and very accomplished.
2011 from a cooler year, feels rather oakier and less knitted-together at this stage.
2012 again a cooler year; shows as more fresh green herbs, zestiness and lime marmalade with a persistent minerality.
2013 a great year and a great wine; less aromatic initially, but amazingly powerful, concentrated and intense. Very long and saline.
Burgundian style and Burgundian, mid-twenties prices; tip-toes elegantly between warm-climate softness and a nervily cool tautness. All scored a Very Good.
2007 fresh, complex harmonious and mellow with ripe fruit. Long and saline.
2010 toasty oak, ripe tropical fruit balanced with freshness and savoury leesiness.
2012 cooler, more focused and precise; the fruit is more orchard and white peach.
2013 complex and balanced, mineral and savoury. Initially, there are aromas of something akin to botrytris, minutes later it's gone and the lime zestiness dominates. Persistent finish.
Zara 2011 (£22.99) a barrel- fermented Viognier; floral, delicate, fresh, peachy and long. Very elegant. Very Good.
Awatea 2010 (£26.99) Hawke's Bay Cab / Merlot blend; blackberry, cassis and plum with a supple and mellow palate. Very Good.
Coleraine 2010 (£48.99) Bordelais blend of CS, Merlot and Cab Franc with an amazingly complex and densely-structured texture. Muscular yet deft, savoury and mineral. Very Good Indeed.
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